I believe that one of the most important investments we can make as parents is in the quality of food we feed our children. Every bite they take influences their development and their future health and wellness. And with that said, probably one of the biggest and most common challenges that parents face is getting their kids, and sometimes spouses, to eat their vegetables. Children's taste buds are more sensitized, especially with bitter foods and because some of the healthiest vegetables are bitter, here lies the challenge. Married With Kids? Try A Sexual Staycation
If you're frustrated because your visions of your family digging into a heaping pile of steamed broccoli or asking for more spinach salad at the dinner table aren't a reality, consider that there are as many ways to encourage your kids and spouse to eat their peas as there are vegetables. Help! My Kids Are Spoiled Brats
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Here are a few to try:
1. Experiment with different textures. Vegetables like cauliflower can taste bitter, especially when raw. However, when it's roasted in the oven with olive oil and caraway seeds, it takes on a whole new flavor. You can also take the roasted cauliflower one step further by processing it in the food processor. The look and texture is remarkably similar to mashed potatoes. Cabbage that's been processed in a food processor then sautéed is also delicious and can take the place of rice.
2. Incorporate veggies into their favorite dishes. If your family loves chili or pasta, slowly begin to mix in chopped or minced veggies, like zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, carrots, or spinach. They'll get more accustomed to the flavors, which will move them closer to eating the bigger pieces in a stir-fry, for example.
3. Grill them. If your partner is in charge of the grill, the next time you hand him the plate of marinated chicken, include a dish of baby zucchini, peppers, and mushroom caps or try a plate of veggie kabobs. If he's had a hand in preparing them, he may be inclined to taste them. Recruit your older kids to help assemble their own kabobs too to get them involved.
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4. Grow a garden. Nothing tastes like a tomato fresh from the garden or pesto from just picked basil. If your spouse or kids take part in tending the plants, harvesting the vegetables or even witnessing the growth process, they may be more curious and willing to taste what they've helped produce. While they're in the garden, have them open a pea pod and taste the sweet peas or pop a ripe cherry tomato into their mouths.
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